Concern over Illinois’ economic future transcends the partisan divide, especially since Illinois has the lowest credit rating in the country and Chicago’s credit rating has been recently downgraded– again. How to enact responsible fiscal change is the topic of fierce debate.
In Governor Bruce Rauner’s budget proposal for the 2016 fiscal year, he proposes austerity measures that will cut the budget by $6 billion, blaming what he calls historic “recklessness.” But it has left many wondering which communities will be most impacted by these proposed cuts and who will bear the burden of debt repayment. Gov. Rauner’s proposed cuts to higher education and social services, in place of increasing tax revenue, are at the center of this debate. These same questions about Chicago’s debt will undoubtedly play a significant role in the upcoming mayoral run-off election between Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Commissioner Chuy Garcia.
Please join us, along with Amanda Kass, Research Director at the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, and Sessy Nyman, Vice President of Policy and Strategic Partnerships at Illinois Action for Children, as we work through some of the many questions that accompany discussions of debt.
Questions to consider include:
How did we arrive at having the worst credit rating in the entire country?
What exactly is the role of pension spending in both the state’s and city’s debt?
Who benefits most from the state’s debt?
What communities will be most burdened by repaying the state’s debt?
How have communities responded to both the debt and the proposed budget?
For further reading:
- “6 Spending Cuts Proposed by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner” –Huffington Post by Reboot Illinois
- “Nobody Understands Debt” –The New York Times by Paul Krugman
- “Cullerton calls Rauner’s proposed budget ‘unworkable'” –The State Journal-Register by Sara Burnett, The Associated Press
- “Chicago’s debt sinks to two notches above junk: Moody’s” –Crain’s by Greg Hinz
Café Society Discussions on this topic will also take place in Carbondale on Thursday, March 19th from 7:30-8:30 PM at Panera Bread (1126 E Walnut St) and in Golconda on Tuesday, March 24th from 6:30-8:00 PM at Diver Down (159 IL-146).
If you need a sign interpreter or require other arrangements to fully participate, please call 312.422.5580 at least 72 hours prior to the event. For parking locations near the facility, please visit ChicagoParkingMap.com.